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  • Chet Baker

Writing Melodramatic vs Dramatic

One my great reviewers mentioned that one of my writings was melodramatic. It caused me to look at this style of writing a little more in depth. To begin with, here’s what one thesaurus (Word Hippo) gives as two definitions:

1. Deliberately exaggerated and theatrical in style

2. Charged with emotion

3. Vehement or impassioned in expression, sometimes pretentiously so

So, what is a melodramatic style to a writer? It depends, doesn’t it? Certainly, melodrama is a subgenre of drama. So how do you know if a book is simply dramatic or melodramatic? Seasoned literary experts tell us the difference lies in the books themselves—Literary or genre fiction. Is it something to be practiced in your literature? Is it something to be avoided? Take a look at these towering works of dramatic fiction.

· Anna Karenina - Tolstoy

· To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper Lee

· The Great Gatsby-F. Scott Fitzgerald

· One Hundred Years of Solitude-Gabriel García Márquez

· Mrs. Dalloway-Virginia Woolf

Five great authors indeed.


Now here are works of melodramatic fiction with amazingly good authors.

· Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronté

· Rebecca -Daphne du Maurier

· Lolita- Vladimir Nabokov

· East of Eden-John Steinbeck

· The Stand- Stephen King

Luminaries themselves.


Or how about the wonderful works that straddle the line: The Great Gatsby, for one.


Do we hear the difference in the two styles classified as either high-brow or genre fiction? Yes we do. Maybe melodramatic writing has a bad rap. But what are some of today's best offerings? Easy. Those that interest us and our readers. And if writing sensational exaggerating keeps on the edge of our seat then good. Bring it on.


I found this by Kyle DeGuzman at Studio Binder on differences he identifies in the two styles.




Read his full article: https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/what-is-melodrama-definition/


Here’s another read you might enjoy. WHY DO PEOPLE READ DETECTIVE STORIES? BY Michael Neimann. Featuring on melodrama in the thrillers.



Okay, I’ve been told I’m on the Melodramatic list. What are you?


Keep on writing!


Chet Baker

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